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child to teach another, you may certainly calculate upon the support and good-will of the parents to an extent to which it has never yet been secured ; and may, therefore (in respect to a given number of the children), with propriety, raise the school fee, and enforce the more regular payment of it; deriving from that source a like income to that which contributes so largely to the maintenance of other schools.

5th. You are offered, as gratuities to the master and mistress, for the instruction of the pupil teachers, an annual sum of 241. (See Minutes).

6th. It may be expedient for the Committee to consider whether measures might not be taken for establishing a school of industry in connexion with the national school, from which it will be seen from the Minutes that liberal aid is offered, making it an upper school to the present girls' school. And whether, if a building be erected, and a mistress maintained specially for that object, some arrangement might not be entered into with the managers of the present school of industry to unite in this object with the Committee.

Leaving out of the view, however, the last consideration, about which there may be differences of opinion, let it be observed, that with reference to the future maintenance of the school, the plan i propose provides annually

First, for a reduction, in respect to repairs, amounting to
Second, in respect to rent

Third, for an increased income to the master of from 151. to 301.,

Fourth, for Government gratuities to the master and mistress, in con-
sideration of the pupil teachers

Fifth for an increase in the amount of the school pence, growing out

of the higher estimate the poor will form of the value of the
school .



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Thus, without reckoning that additional income from school pence which, from my experience in schools, may, I know, nevertheless be reckoned upon, there is a money balance in favour of conducting the schools on the plan which I propose of more than 1001. a-year.

I say nothing of the balance in favour of the poor children taught in the schools, or of the interests of education in the place.

As of this balance of 1001., only 501. will be required to meet the existing annual defalcation, there will remain 501., of which 121. is the master's gratuity, raising his salary to 84l. ; for which sum, with a house, a very superior master may be found.

121. is the mistress's gratuity.

And 261. will be placed at the disposal of the Committee, and enable them to give full efficiency to the infant-school.

The additional school pence may be calculated upon as far more than adequate for any other trifling increase, if there be any, of the present expenditure.

I have, in this calculation, supposed that no additional subscriptions are obtained, and that your present efforts for that object are altogether unsuccessful.

I hope, however, better things; and of this I am sure, that the people of w- will take far more interest in the schools, and be more ready to support them when they are good schools; and when they have school-buildings of a character consistent with the opulence and the public spirit of the parish.

I think it probable that the present very respectable schoolmaster may be provided with some other position not less advantageous, and better suited to bim than the care of so large a school.

In this letter I have spoken of myself* as taking an active part in carrying out the measures which I have proposed.

I have done so to avoid circumlocution, and because whatever measures may be adopted I, as an inhabitant of W

have a common interest with the Committee in their success.

But, in reality, I can take no such part; my functions as a Government Inspector, in their nature, interdict my agency in the administration or management of schools, and I am specially instructed to that effect.

With this communication, therefore, the task I have imposed upon myself is completed.

'Whatever may be the decision of the Committee, it is a satisfactioti to me to have made an effort to improve the education of the poor children of the place, and I am relieved of what, under the circumstances of the case, I have been led to look upon as a responsibility.

Your's, &c.,



The Present Moral Condition of the Population of Bilston. The aggregate weekly earnings of a family are very large, and yet families are often destitute, not only of comforts but of necessaries, – the produce of their labour is spent as soon as it is received, without thought and without limit, in the ale-house or the eating-house; and, it can hardly be otherwise among those who are ignorant not only of their moral and social duties, but whose wives and daughters are ignorant of the commonest and most essential of domestic duties, cooking, baking, brewing, washing, mending, sewing, even in the coarsest and most ineficient manner.

It is painful to know that such should be the case, but it would be marvellous if it were not, when the female children at the earliest moment that age or strength will admit of, are forced into the shops and works, to add, by their labour, to the family income.

A tradesman, of great experience, and better versed in the habits of the working classes than any one I have ever met with, lamented to mesays the same intelligent informant to whose testimony I have before referred—the utter ignorance of household duties prevailing among the

* In explanation of this and other passages of this letter, it is necessary to state that the writer has long been connected personally with the parish to which it refers.

women of the working classes ; he tells me that it is a matter of no ordinary occurrence to him to have to point out the pots and pans absolutely requisite for their household purposes, and hear and witness, during the progress of the outfit, the painful ignorance of his youthful customers as to the duties and responsibilities they are about to incur. So imperfectly is household economy understood, that the members of a family, as they come in after the Saturday night's marketing has been accomplished, will cut their respective steaks from the leg of mutton or the loin of beef, throw them with the tongs upon the fire, and broil and devour them--all the comfort, all the economy, all the kindly feeling of the social meal unthought of and unknown. Expense is never thought of.

A tenant of mine, a thinking man, too, in a certain degree, came to apologize for non-payment of his rent. He made the usual excuses, slackness of work, dearness of provisions, and so forth; and, having gained the time he asked for, he wound up his visit by saying, 'I bought the most beautifulest little loin of lamb in Wolverhampton market last Wednesday. Now, it so happened that the fortnight preceding, I had dined at the tables of the most affluent and aristocratic of the immediate neighbourhood, but at none had I seen lamb: it was the middle of February, and of course lamb at its very highest price.”

The cost is never calculated, perhaps never understood ; eightpence or tenpence will be given without a remark for a quarter of a duck; the price of the duck itself is not thought of a hundred or a hundred and fifty per cent. profit is an idea that never suggests itself. In the turn-out, in 1842, the privation and consequent suffering were very great." I saw four men tear a sixpenny loaf into pieces, and swallow it with an avidity that rendered it impossible they could have tasted it,-in fact, they were half famished; yet suffering and privation had not the effect that might have been expected; prudence and foresight made no practical advance in the main ; satisfied from what I saw that the only safe course was to give relief in kind, I gave orders upon a respectable tradesman for bread, bacon, oatmeal, tea, and sugar in such proportions and for such periods as seemed advisable. Great was my surprise when, in stating to him my intention, and fixing the prices at which those articles were to be supplied, he asked me if he was to supply only the specific articles ordered. I told him he must,—that my purpose was to aid the sustenance of the persons to whom I gave tickets ; he said, 'Well, Sir, I will take care your directions are complied with to the letter. I must tell the people so or they will have ham, and that of the best quality, to the amount of the order. Now, that was at a time of the most touching misery and suffering; so great that, to meet the demands I had upon me, I refrained from personal expenses I could not give up without inconvenience.' The number of houses rated in Bilston is 4353, of which 160 are ale-houses, beer-houses, or liquor-shops, or 1 in 26; all, of course, supported by the working-classes, whose expenditure, if rent, taxes, and the other ordinary charges, exclusive of profit, be taken into account, must be very great; if money-clubs, gambling, fines for intoxication, assaults, and all the other costs incident to the frequenting of such places, and loss of time be added, enormous, so enornious that if once rightly understood by those who incur them, the evil would be checked, if its prevention would not be effected.

The withdrawal of money from the sayings' bank during the turn-out

of 1842 was not, there is reason to believe, for the purpose of holding out, but for the purpose of maintenance solely, by those who were forced into this turn-out against their will, and deprived of work by the rest. The sums were so small, and drawn out with so much reluctance, and so evidently under a hope that the men would go to work again, that it was impossible to mistake the influence operating upon the mind. If a greater mass deposited, it is believed by the persons most competent to judge, that turn-outs would seldom take place, and be of shorter duration. A great number of persons, however, feel the greatest reluctance to deposit, for fear it should become known to the masters, and many, very many, actually take their money to Mr.

, in the previous week and get him to bring it, in order that it may not be known that they are depositors. “ A man who came to me with reference to the Rules of a Friendly Society, was induced, from what I said, to come and make a deposit last week, but he actually sent a person to see first who was present, and particularly requested I would not mention his having deposited to his master, who is a tenant of mine. He came again to-day, and made a further and larger deposit, but his fear of its being known, though diminished, still exists to an extent it is painful to witness. Two highly respectable puddlers entertained the same jealousy, and actually purchased land in the name of another party, and built themselves houses upon it, practically submitting to be considered as tenants, not owners. I discovered the fact on the registration ; they desired to be placed on the list of electors, and came to me about it, and, with some hesitation at last told me all the facts; how and when they had purchased, the amount they had given, and all the other particulars, and on my expressing my surprise at this conveyance having been made to a third party, they said it was to prevent their master knowing they were doing so well. This led me to make further inquiry, and I learned that it was not by any means uncommon to take such a course.” Much, perhaps, of this jealousy arises from the proximity of position in these districts of the employer and employed; the one has a greater cominand of capital, and so far is in a higher position than the other, but in intellectual attainments the difference is not very perceptible, and the ruler is as foolishly jealous as the ruled. If a correct view of the identity of interest could be effected, a great change for good would be the result. Each looks only to his own interest, and here there is no third person by birth, by education, by attainment, and by experience practically fit to step in between them. It is a great and grievous loss to each, but so it is ; few men 'of adequate intelligence and position will reside in the working districts, and hence results much of the evil all complain of, but none set about to work a remedy for. “ The bitter fruit is at hand; no one who witnessed the feeling that prevailed during the turn-out in 1842 can doubt of that." The influence of the great slack has been beneficial as respects the savings' bank; the deposits began to increase as soon as it was possible after its cessation, that is, as soon as the debts contracted during its continuance were worked down, and have continued since to increase. In 1839, the number of depositors was 67; 1840, 86; 1841, 134; 1842, 129; 1843, 136; 1814, 196 ; 1845, 290; 1846, 420, and the number during the current year is increasing rapidly.

The leisure hours of the men are mainly spent in the public-houses, the truth is, the women, having no notion of domestic duty or domestic comfort, by their want of tact and management, make the ale-house more comfortable than the fire-side; the consequence is, that all the time and money of the family are wasted and misused. The home is a scene of wretched untidiness and filth ; no furniture, no bedding but the poorest and most comfortless--often straw or hay stuffed into a filthy ticking, and everything in disorder and discomfort : it is most painful to witness the state of the houses and furniture. A labourer in the agricultural districts, at 10s. a-week wages, is a far more respectable man; he has a good bed, good furniture, and an air of comfort and respectability about his home and household; here there is nothing of the kind; in the one there is uniformity and rule; in the other all in disorder, irregularity, and misery

I go into the houses of each, and am constantly struck with the wide difference in them. Much, I think, of the evil results from the great ignorance that prevails among the working people—an ignorance uncounteracted by the influence and intelligence of the higher classes ; they have no one to resort to for advice or information, no one to fear, or whose respect they desire, and that I am sure has much to do with the unhappy habits prevailing in these populous districts.” The benefits that would arise from opportunity and advice discreetly given may be judged of from the effect of the savings' bank and the increasing influence it, at last, seems to be gaining. The deposits and payments were :



556 16 6

53 11 0

771 14 9 269 10 9 1841 1336 14 5

858 19 2 1842 1071 13 4 1084 4 8

1107 15 2 819 4 3 1844 1763 13 7

780 19 1 1845 3381 15 0

856 15 3 1846 4945 14 3 2198 16 5

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And the deposits are now rapidly increasing, the withdrawals being in large sums, chiefly effected for the purpose of buying land, building a house, or setting up in business. This satisfactory result has arisen from the advice, and influence, and interference of a very few individuals, and I am persuaded, if the same course could be taken in reference to other matters of social order and prosperity, the result would be similar, for however thoughtless and improvident the working people may be, they are open to reason, and will listen to it, especially if the mode in which it is conveyed be kind, not authoritative. No persons are more sensitively alive to kindness generally, or better, or more accurate judges of propriety of conduct in those of higher station than themselves than the working people; if the advantages of rank or talent be disregarded or misused, by no class will it be more quickly seen and apprehended, more severely censured, than by the working people; censured with a severity of sarcasm rarely equalled in the very highest persons amid the heighth of intellectual power and refinement: how lamentable it is, then, that the talent, ability, and judgment, and discernment of these classes is suffered to rust for lack of instruction and proper cultivation and consideration; if valued and drawn out as deserved, and fair opportunity of

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